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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Apple tree pruning

Posted: 05/01/2014 at 17:51

Hi Tom, I suspect "water shoots" will be your main problem.  As long as you deal with those and the tree doesn't succumb to a bad disease it will probably be OK - they are tough things.  Have a look at this RHS link for how to deal with the water shoots and which diseases to watch for:

If you keep on top of those things for the next 3 years it should be OK.

don't waste my time plant!

Posted: 05/01/2014 at 17:38

Hi BL, that look a perfect spot for your lavender hedge which looks wonderful!  It just doesn't get enough sun in my garden so has to go unfortunately.  Try growing the h.h. agapanthus from seed - that's what I did and then used the seed those plants produced to grow more - I found them very easy to grow that way and if you keep doing that you will always have a supply of replacement plants should any die in the winter.  Some of those I grew that way turned out to be much hardier than others - natural selection and all that!   I'd recommend growing them for at least 3 years in containers before planting out into borders though.

don't waste my time plant!

Posted: 05/01/2014 at 15:24

Lavenders going this year for me too.  Most montbretia now gone and I'm getting rid of some of the headbourne h agapanthus as they are thugs here too.

Landgirl, if you want to try giving onions one more chance, start the sets in modules in a cold GH or coldframe and plant out when well rooted.  Works for me on my cold clay soil which gave the same results as you had when I planted them direct.

Bird feeders

Posted: 05/01/2014 at 15:02

Me too Chicky.  I feed all the year round but only have sparrows, a couple of robins and blackbird at the moment (well, magpies, woodpigeons, collared doves and crows but I don't really count those!)


Fertilising the Veg Garden

Posted: 05/01/2014 at 14:35

Thanks E - it helps.  I agree with Verdun 's advice which gives a good general overview.  Root veg don't really do well in containers so that may be half of your problem.  Try and select varieties which are bred for container growing - often called 'mini veg'.  For carrots, these would be a 'stump rooted' variety as containers generally don't have the necessary depth for standard varieties, so suggest your raised beds for those.  I would also suggest buying the best compost you can afford - a John Innes number 2 type would be good, or mix your own using bagged topsoil mixed with a good general multi-purpose compost and adding a little fish, blood and bone (don't over-do that though!)  Doing that would provide more long-term nutrition than just using MP compost which generally has enough fertiliser to last for 6 weeks.  Later in the season use your weak general liquid feed, much of which can be absorbed via the leaves, so wet those when watering it in.  Little and often is the best way to use liquid types - those based on seaweed are good.  Also use as large/deep containers as you can. If it helps, my root veg grown in the soil didn't do very well last year either although I usually have a great crop, so perhaps it was just a bad year for some crops - the cold, slow start to the year being mainly to blame I think.

Fertilising the Veg Garden

Posted: 05/01/2014 at 14:05

Enchantica, can we assume you are growing in containers?

Where do I find the cheapest butterfly netting online (in UK)?

Posted: 04/01/2014 at 19:19

Agreed, anything around 60p per square metre is good value.

More importantly Anna, you need to check delivery information as many gardening suppliers in the UK won't take online EU orders or delivery to the EU may be expensive or not available.  Google "butterfly netting UK" and go straight to the delivery information link on each site.  You may find your choice very limited unfortunately.


Posted: 01/01/2014 at 00:00

Happy New Year everyone!

Wishes and resolutions

Posted: 31/12/2013 at 20:36

Heh heh! Perfect answer, nut!

Talkback: Rose pruning

Posted: 31/12/2013 at 20:33

Hi Blubell, if you have been there a while and this just appeared in your garden it is almost certainly a wild rose from seed via bird droppings.  The most common one in the uk is the dog rose (Rosa canina.)  It should flower but they don't last long and the hips are it's best feature.  I have them growing in a wild hedge but the prunings are a nightmare to deal with as the thorns are extremely sharp.  If you prune it, it will still grow a couple of metres every year so I would be tempted to remove it unless you have a 'wild' style garden and can put up with such a rampant shrub.


Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 648
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 327
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 367
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 962
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 747
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 705
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 664
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 530
Last Post: 13/07/2014 at 18:04

Bob's guide to picking soft fruit

Only fto be read by your household's main gardener! 
Replies: 3    Views: 456
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 788
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 698
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 21:44

A week of rain = jungle garden!

It's been too wet to really do anything outside.. 
Replies: 16    Views: 1179
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 836
Last Post: 24/04/2014 at 11:30

Check your delphiniums for caterpillars

Look for distorted and damaged leaves near the tips 
Replies: 10    Views: 1295
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 508
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39
1 to 15 of 29 threads